Other Possible Causes Of Severe Knee Pain
In addition to the conditions listed above, severe knee pain can be related to an infectioneither an infection in the knee joint or a systemic infection, such as the flu, that causes an auto-immune reaction that leads to knee pain. Knee pain related to infection is discussed on the next page.
Other possible causes of severe knee pain in the absence of trauma include soft tissue injuries that can develop over time, such as severe tendinopathy and IT band syndrome. In these cases, knee pain often develops gradually, and knee pain is less likely to be accompanied by localized redness, swelling, and warmth.
Reason #: Patellar Tendonitis
Patellar tendonitis is yet another common cause of painful knees when squatting. This issue affects your patellar tendon, which runs from your kneecap to your tibia.
When this tendon becomes irritated or injured , it can cause pain at the front of your knee.
Patellar tendonitis is often called Jumpers Knee because the tendon absorbs a lot of the force on your lower limb as you land and jump . But it could easily be called squatters knee as well, because performing this move also relies on the tendon.
Weve written another article focused on patellar tendonitis, so if this is your issue, you can read it here.
Seek Immediate Treatment For The Following
You should seek emergency care if you have:
- Stroke or spinal cord injury indicators: Sudden-onset of visual or speech changes, numbness in the knee along with other parts of the body, changes in bowel or bladder function, weakness, or facial droop. These symptoms could indicate that your knee numbness is being caused by a stroke or spinal cord injury.
- Nerve damage indicators: A knee injury followed by numbness, weakness, and a pale or blue appearing leg. These symptoms could indicate a significant injury with damage to nerves and/or blood vessels.
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Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The posterior cruciate ligament plays a similar role to the ACL, though it is less likely to become injured than the ACL.
PCL injuries may happen during traumatic events, such as falling directly onto the knee from a height or being in a vehicle accident. With enough force, the ligament may tear completely.
PCL injuries cause symptoms such as:
- knee pain
- stiffness in the knee if bending
- difficulty walking
- swelling in the knee
Completely resting the knee may help a PCL strain heal. However, a severe PCL injury may require surgery.
Examining Sharp Knee Pain When Squatting
Knee pain from squats can be felt in different regions of the knee. Some folks experience lateral pain on the outside of the knee, some folks on the medial or inside region, some folks on the font of the knee or around the kneecap.
Paying attention to where exactly your pain is located can help clue you into the potential causes behind it. And if you know the source of the problem, you will be better equipped to handle it.
There are 5 common reasons for sharp knee pain when squatting. Well take a look at each of these hidden causes PLUS what you can do to ease the pain.
Lets get you back out there and back to squatting pain free
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Pain In The Front Of The Knee: 6 Common Causes
Pain in the front of the knee or anterior knee pain is very common. Do any of these scenarios seem familiar to you? You come to a stairway and cringe at the thought of having to walk downstairs. You love to run, but the anterior knee pain you have when running downhill has taken the joy out of running. If youve been sitting for a while, the thought of having to get up is becoming too much to bear. While I could say youre not alone, thats not very comforting. You are here for answers. Lets see how we can help educate you on why the front of your knee hurts so much.
Burning Pain In The Back Of The Knee
Pain behind your knee could come from any of a handful of causes. You may have an overuse injury similar to what causes runner’s knee.
You could also have something more severe like a ligament tear. If you tear a ligament or cartilage, you will most likely have pain no matter what you do, even if you stop the activity. You will also have swelling shortly after you injure your knee.
You could also have a Baker’s cyst. A Baker’s cyst is an accumulation of fluid in the bursa behind your knee. You may have pain, or you may just have swelling.
The burning pain behind your knee could be your only symptom. Best of all, a Baker’s cyst isn’t a debilitating diagnosis. You can get the fluid drained and then return to normal activities.
If you suspect a cartilage or ligament tear, begin with cold therapy. This could include a sleeve with an ice pack that you slide over your knee and keep on the knee for fifteen minutes at a time.
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Exercise Program For Pain In The Front Of Your Knee :
Many of you are afraid to exercise. Yes, some of you may have pain with a few of these exercises. You can start with quadriceps isometric exercises, or simply dont go too low with the squat, lunge or wall sit until your strength improves. Most of you will find that after doing these exercises 3 days/week for two weeks that your pain will start to improve. As I mentioned previously, this is a program that can take 6-12 months to fully correct the weakness pattern that led to pain in the front of your knee. So stick with it.
Squat: I like the variations that this group throws in. You do not and should not start with 100 if you are just starting out.
Chair Squats are the place to start if you dont have the strength or confidence.
Wall Sits: A great quadriceps exercise. This video is a little mechanical, but it contains the dos and donts of how to perform a wall sit.
Reverse Lunges: Easier than forward lunges. Dont lunge back further than you can handle. That distance will get further over time. Focus on your front knee so it doesnt wobble back and forth.
Planks: This video includes a good description of the proper technique, and it gives you 10 different variations to try.
Hamstring bridge exercise. If this is too easy you can rest a barbell across your pelvis, or a kettlebell on your lower abdomen.
Learn Why Squats Make Your Knees Hurt And How To Deal With It
Sharp knee pain when squatting can really put a damper on your workouts. Heres what might be causing it and how to fix it.
Squatting is a fundamental movement pattern. Not only are squats a good exercise in and of themselves, they are the foundation for powerful progressions like weighted squats, pistol squats, Olympic lifts and more.
Squats are common in everything from weight lifting and cross fit to yoga and ballet barre. So if sharp knee pain when squatting is causing you trouble, you might be limited from a wide range of recreational and daily life activities.
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What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam, and look at your knees, hips, legs, and other joints.
Your provider may do the following tests:
- MRI of the knee if a ligament or meniscus tear could be the cause
- CT scan of the knee
- Joint fluid culture
Your provider may inject a steroid into your knee to reduce pain and inflammation.
You may need to learn stretching and strengthening exercises. You also may need to see a podiatrist to be fitted for orthotics.
In some cases, you may need surgery.
Common Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee
Sometimes pain behind the knee is simply due to muscle strains. These injuries usually heal in a matter of days. However, this is only one possibility. There can also be pain behind the knee as a result of systemic diseases or some life-threatening conditions. Below we take a look at just what the different potential causes are.
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Problem: Patella Or Kneecap Pain
When working properly, your patella should glide straight up and down as you extend your leg. But sometimes the kneecap slides slightly off track and rubs against the bone and cartilage nearby. This can lead to pain and swelling in front of the knee and behind the kneecap. You can also hear a crackling noise.
What Causes Pfp Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is an overuse disorder. These happen when someone does the same movements that stress the knee over and over again.
In PFP syndrome, repeated bending and straightening the knee stresses the kneecap. It’s most common in athletes.
Some people with PFP syndrome have a kneecap that is out of line with the thighbone . The kneecap can get out of line, or wiggle as it moves along the thighbone, because of muscle weakness, trauma, or another problem. If this happens, the kneecap doesn’t glide smoothly over the thighbone when the knee bends and straightens. The kneecap gets injured and this causes the pain of PFP syndrome.
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Sharp Knee Pain Causes By Activity
Page Last Updated: 12/06/21
Anterior Knee Pain Causes In Young Athletes:
Before you read this, it is worth repeating the majority of you will not have the issues that I outline below. The majority of you will have pain due to a gait abnormality or muscle imbalance. We all feel the need to have a specific label for why our knee hurts. Anterior knee pain due to muscle imbalance just doesnt cut if for some of you you want something more specific. I understand that.
The point I am trying to make is, if you assign the cause of your pain to a specific structural finding or something that your MRI report mentioned, then you may have difficulty getting past that and buying into the PT or exercise strategies that have been shown to work.
- Chondromalacia: Chondromalacia is likely a very early sign of arthritis. It involves the softening of the cartilage under your patella . As the cartilage softens, it is thought that it irritates other tissue in the knee with certain activities. Im not convinced that this is a common cause of anterior knee pain. Chondromalacia is very common, even in people with no pain.
We find chondromalacia in so many people at the time of surgery for other things, such as an ACL tear. And those people rarely have pain in the front of their knee. So it is not entirely clear why some people might have pain due to chondromalacia, and others do not. Surgery is rarely needed.
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Deformities Of The Knee
The appearance of the knee can change during a flare and as damage progresses.
In RA, swelling and redness are common during a flare. In the long term, persistent inflammation can result in permanent damage to the cartilage and the tendons. This can affect the shape and appearance of the knee.
With OA, the muscles around the knee can weaken, resulting in a sunken appearance. The knees can start to point toward each other or bend outward.
Knee deformities range from barely noticeable to severe and debilitating.
Treatment will depend on the type of arthritis a person has.
What Causes Knee Pain In Young Adults
Knee pain in your 20s is often associated with overuse injuries. When the muscles, ligaments or tendons are overworked, pain, stiffness and other symptoms can develop pretty quickly. Tendonitis and bursitis are a couple of overuse injuries that are most commonly associated with strenuous activity. But they can also occur in relatively inactive people who ramp up their activity too quickly. Still, while these types of injuries are fairly common in young adults, theyre not the only causes of knee pain.
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Why Am I Getting Pain At The Back Of My Knee
Published on: 4th February 2020
When it comes to knee pain, we often tend to think first of the front and sides. But pain that comes from the back of the knee is probably every bit as common.
It would be helpful if there was a single likely reason for this! But in fact the causes of back-of-knee pain can be very diverse. You could experience it as a sudden pain or a gradual ache. There may be swelling and inflammation or none at all. You might find it difficult to fully extend your leg.
In other words we need to do some narrowing down to find out whats going on. One useful starting point is to think in terms of problems inside or outside the knee joint: in medical-speak, intra- or extra-articular causes. Lets have a look at the most common ones.
Best Exercises For Knee Pain
You can improve your knee pain by exercising and stretching to improve strength and flexibility. In fact, exercise is an important part of treating knee pain in general. Check this out for some examples of easy-to-do exercises and stretches that can help with knee pain such as:
Quad and hamstring stretches
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Reason #: Meniscus Problems
Problems with the meniscus in your knee joint are a common cause of knee pain from squatting. In fact, Ive experienced this type of knee pain from squats.
This pain is usually caused by small tears in the meniscus, a disc of cartilage that sits between your femur and tibia and absorbs shock and pressure in the knee .
A major meniscus tear can be a serious problem that requires surgery, but a minor or microtear can simply cause pain and irritation during certain movements like say, during squats.
The pain is typically felt on the medial side of your knee, and often it feels like your knee joint suddenly locks or catches with pain as you squat.
I have a slight meniscus tear and find the pain comes and goes randomly. I find my knee will just click into place and then I wont have any problems for months until something clicks back out of place.
One exercise that helps keep meniscus issues from causing me pain and interrupting my squats are SB Leg Curls.
This technique will help provide stability to the knee by strengthening the hamstrings as they flex at the knee and extend at the hip. Youll feel stronger and more stable at the knee joint by incorporating this move into your routine, especially since the hamstrings are often weak relative to the quads.
SB Leg Curls
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
While pain can disrupt your sleep, you can promote a more restful night when you include these sleep hygiene strategies into your daily routine:
- Avoid taking long naps during the day.
- Make your bedroom cool and dark.
- Avoid eating heavy foods or exercising right before you sleep.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about taking melatonin supplements or other sleep aids.
- Dont use phones or computers before bed since the blue light from the screen can disrupt sleep.
- Use a pillow and supportive mattress to avoid straining your back or your knees.
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Osteonecrosis Of The Knee
Osteonecrosis is a condition in which bone tissue dies due to a lack of adequate blood supply. People typically notice severe pain on the inside of the knee with tenderness and joint swelling as well as pain when bending or straightening the knee. These symptoms may cause a person to limp when walking.
Osteonecrosis in the knee is not common. It is most likely to occur after an injury, but it can also develop gradually in absence of a trauma. Older women who have osteoporosis are at the greatest risk for osteonecrosis.